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Comparative assessment of agronomical performances of six commercial cocoa Varieties in on farm progeny trials in Cameroon

Sounigo O., Feumba de Tchoua L.F., Bourgoing R., Nsouga Amougou F., Abolo D., Efombagn M.I.B.. 2017. In : Proceedings of the first International Symposium on Cocoa Research ISCR 2017. Lima : ICCO, 4 p.. International Symposium on Cocoa Research ¿ ISCR 2017 : Promoting Advances in Research to Enhance the Profitability of Cocoa Farming. 1, 2017-11-13/2017-11-17, Lima (Pérou).

A long term participatory breeding program was launched in Cameroon in 2005, as a key component of a worldwide cocoa breeding project, funded by CFC (Common Fund for Commodities). One activity within this program has consisted in setting up on farm progeny trials in order to assess the performances of commercial cocoa varieties, when tested in on farm conditions. 4,500 cocoa trees, belonging to six commercial varieties (six full-sib progenies issued from bi-clonal seed-gardens) were assessed in 11 progeny trial plots, set up in 2006, in two geographical sites of Cameroon. Cocoa yield data recorded during the period from 2011 to 2015 were analyzed and showed significant differences among progenies, ranging between 830 and 1,480 kg cocoa/ha/year. In addition, 273 cocoa seedlings, sampled in nursery within a mixture of the commercial progenies issued from seed-gardens (CV), have been planted simultaneously with 170 seedlings issued from pods collected in farmers' plots, in three progeny trial plots set up in 2007. 85 of these farmers' seedlings were issued from pods collected on cocoa trees belonging to the traditional amelonado variety (named german cocoa) (GC), while 85 others were issued from pods collected on trees belonging to commercial varieties (half-sibs issued from commercial varieties) (FV). Under the conditions of our trial plots (no permanent shade during the first ten years, because of the simultaneous planting of cocoa and shade trees), GC trees yielded significantly less (450 kg/ha/year) than FV (880 kg/ha/year) and CV trees (910 kg/ha/year). The impact of these results on the future release of commercial cocoa varieties in Cameroon is discussed in this paper.

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